A pawnbroker shop


Pawnbrokers offer loans to clients by securing them with personal objects or items. They assess the personal items given in exchange for the loan, they determine their value and amount of loan available and keep track of inventory assets.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to pawnbroker:

deposit lender
deposit lenders
pawn brokers
pawnshop operator
pawnshop owner
pawn broker
pawn agent
pawn agents
pawnshop manager

Minimum qualifications

A high school diploma or equivalent is generally the minimum required to work as a pawnbroker. Depending on where the pawn shop is located, a business license may also be required. The privilege license can be challenging to obtain, and typically the process includes in-depth background search into past business dealings and employment, as well as a criminal background check.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Pawnbroker is a Skill level 2 occupation.

Pawnbroker career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to pawnbroker.

insurance collector
debt collector
insurance clerk
rental service representative in cars and light motor vehicles
rental service representative in machinery, equipment and tangible goods

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of pawnbroker. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of pawnbroker with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

personal property appraiser
credit manager
insurance fraud investigator
mortgage loan underwriter
loan officer

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of pawnbroker.

  • Debt collection techniques: The techniques and principles used to collect overdue debt from customers.
  • Debt systems: The processes needed to obtain goods or services before payment and when a sum of money is owed or overdue.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of pawnbroker.

  • Communicate with customers: Respond to and communicate with customers in the most efficient and appropriate manner to enable them to access the desired products or services, or any other help they may require.
  • Maintain client debt records: preserve a list with the debt records of clients and update it regularly
  • Decide on loan applications: Take into account the risk assessment and analysis and perform the final reviewing of the loan application in order to approve or deny the loan, and set in motion the necessary procedures following the decision.
  • Maintain records of financial transactions: Collate all the financial transactions done in the daily operations of a business and record them in their respective accounts.
  • Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
  • Estimate value of used goods: Examine items owned by an individual in order to determine its current price by assessing damage and taking into account the original retail price and the current demand for such items.
  • Perform debt investigation: Use research techniques and tracing strategies to identify overdue payment arrangements and address them
  • Manage pawnshop inventory: Monitor the current inventory of the pawnshop and ensure that there are never too many or too few items present in the inventory. Adapt pawnshop procedures in order to optimise the inventory status.
  • Collect customer data: Collect customer data such as contact information, credit card or billing information; gather information to track down purchase history.
  • Negotiate on asset value: Negotiate with asset owners or parties involved in handling the asset on the monetary value of the asset for selling, insurance, usage as collatoral, or other purposes, in order to secure the most financially beneficial agreement for the client.
  • Assess customer credibility: Communicate with customers to assess whether their true intentions are in line with what they claim in order to eliminate any risks from a potential agreement with the customer.
  • Analyse financial risk: Identify and analyse risks that could impact an organisation or individual financially, such as credit and market risks, and propose solutions to cover against those risks.
  • Determine resale value of items: Examine items to search for any damages or signs of deterioration and take into account the current demand for used goods of the item’s nature in order to set a likely price at which the item can be resold, and to determine the manner in which the item can be sold.
  • Handle financial transactions: Administer currencies, financial exchange activities, deposits as well as company and voucher payments. Prepare and manage guest accounts and take payments by cash, credit card and debit card.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of pawnbroker. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Credit control processes: The various techniques and procedures applied to ensure that credit is given to the suitable customers and that they pay on time.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of pawnbroker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

  • Estimate value of musical instruments: Identify new or second hand musical instruments and estimate the market value of them based on professional judgment and knowledge of musical instruments, or subject them to estimation by a third party.
  • Obtain financial information: Gather information on securities, market conditions, governmental regulations and the financial situation, goals and needs of clients or companies.
  • Enforce customer’s debt repayment: Monitor customers to pay all debts and amounts due; negotiate return of merchandise.
  • Calculate value of gems: Determine appraised value of gemstones such as diamonds and pearls; study price guides, market fluctuations and grades of rarity.
  • Estimate value of used jewellery and watches: Assess used metal (gold, silver) and gems (diamonds, emeralds) based on age and current market rates.
  • Assess financial viability: Revise and analyse financial information and requirements of projects such as their budget appraisal, expected turnover, and risk assessment for determining the benefits and costs of the project. Assess if the agreement or project will redeem its investment, and whether the potential profit is worth the financial risk.
  • Perform market research: Gather, assess and represent data about target market and customers in order to facilitate strategic development and feasibility studies. Identify market trends.

ISCO group and title

4213 – Pawnbrokers and money-lenders

  1. Pawnbroker – ESCO
  2. Job Description of Pawnbroker – Chron
  3. Featured image: By Pawnbroker moving by Gerald England, CC BY-SA 2.0
Last updated on November 29, 2022

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